Professional organizer Geralin Thomas helps people clean up their act and stay that way.
Best known for her appearances on the A&E television show “Hoarders,” Thomas says knowing where your stuff is saves you time and money. An organized calendar means no late fees on bills. An organized pantry means no duplicates or return trips for missing ingredients.
But organizing is more than tidying up. Thomas, who launched her Cary business Metropolitan Organizing in 2003, works with clients to set priorities and establish workable systems to prevent chaotic backsliding.
With “get organized” a popular New Year’s resolution, we invited Thomas to talk about her business and why clients ask for help.
Why did you open your business?
There were many factors that were carefully considered regarding my decision to launch a business in the home organizing industry.
My experience in the travel industry helped me realize that organization, productivity and time management come naturally to me, but that’s not necessarily the case for others. Creating and implementing strategies for getting from one point to another, within a specific time frame and budget, are challenging for many, but these are a few of the tasks I enjoy most.
What is the most common issue facing clients?
Clients contact Metropolitan Organizing for a variety of reasons, and many reach out for help regarding one area of their life and find that they want to improve in other areas. I especially enjoy working with people who have challenges with their decision-making processes.
When it comes to client needs, it truly depends on circumstances. Someone might be:
- Going through a transition: families blending and merging households, or empty-nesters downsizing
- Facing health-related challenges: mental health (depression, ADHD or hoarding disorder) and physical health (arthritis, migraines, hip or knee replacements)
- Wanting to learn a better way to do something: organize paperwork, create a capsule wardrobe or prepare for hurricanes
- Struggling with procrastination or decision-making
When did you know that you had “made it”?
Anytime I’m invited into a community of well-respected professionals it is extremely motivating and rewarding. And, it’s gratifying when a client tells me that they hear my strategies and tips echoing in their head while shopping or performing their daily activities.
What’s been the best aspect of owning the business?
I’m fond of my clients, and I enjoy the work I do. Since starting Metropolitan Organizing in 2003, I’ve had a lot of interesting opportunities and privileges.
For many, scaling and growing a business is the goal, but for me the best part of being a business owner is deciding to keep my business small and nimble. I love being able to implement ideas quickly. For example, when I recently decided to try creating a few YouTube videos so I could reach more people, I just did it. I didn’t need to submit a proposal or get approval.
Plus, let’s face it, being in control of the office thermostat has its perks too. There are never any disagreements about finding the perfect temperature.